Baker Mayfield sounds off on experts picking the Falcons to win NFC South

Once again, the Bucs are completely unbothered by experts counting them out.

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

After an initial frenzy of free agency action last week, it seems we've reached a brief lull before things pick back up with the NFL Draft. In the meantime, everything that went down is being over-analyzed and used as an early compass for how this upcoming season will go.

We've heard it all before, both teams getting praise for 'winning' free agency while others are quick to remind everyone that nothing is actually won in March.

That hasn't stopped some knee-jerk predictions from trickling out of the first wave of free agency, specifically when it comes to how things will shake out in the NFC South next season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren't very active in the open market, opting instead to re-sign most of its key players.

It's something that is already being used against them, but not everyone is buying that the lack of movement is an indicator that the team has been passed by.

Baker Mayfield sounds off on experts picking the Falcons to win NFC South

It didn't take long for the Atlanta Falcons to become everyone's favorite to win the division after signing Kirk Cousins. Given the weapons the Falcons have they should be a better team but Baker Mayfield wants to remind everyone that the focus should be on what actually happens, not hypotheticals.

While making an appearance on NFL Network, Mayfield addressed the experts already picking Atlanta to win the NFC South.

“When I got here, the division ran through Tampa, and that’s the goal. You have to keep it that way," Baker said. "It is always fun to listen to the opinions. But we are just going to put our heads down and work. That’s kind of the MO here. That’s what Jason [Licht] is all about. That’s what Todd [Bowles] instills in us."

This is why Baker is exactly the quarterback -- and leader -- the Buccaneers need. He's not going to get into a war of words with anyone or give bulletin board material that can be used against him later. That job is already spoken for and it belongs to Cam Jordan; instead Baker has exactly the right take that we should all have at this point in the offseason.

It's naive to think the Bucs will simply roll to a fourth-straight division title, especially considering how long it took them to do it three consecutive times. Atlanta is better, the Saints certainly can't be as medicore as they were, and there's a clear target on Tampa Bay's back.

Things won't be easy, but Tampa Bay getting tossed to the side because of one overpriced contract is a bit much. The Bucs still own a Top 10 defense, brought back it's Pro Bowl quarterback and future Hall of Fame wide receiver, and upgraded its offensive coaching to incorporate more dynamics than what Dave Canales had.

No one is saying the Bucs can't lose the division, but it's hard to say they won't win it until the team gives everyone a reason to think otherwise.

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